ProGrade Digital 160GB Cobalt CFExpress Type A Card and Dual Slot CFExpressA / SD Card Reader Review

Type B CFExpress cards have gained massive popularity as of late  but what about CFExpress Type A.  Has it been forgotten?  The unfortunate reality of CFExpress Type A cards is that they are a very niche product limited to very few Sony cameras; the Sony a7S III, FX3 and Fx6 specifically. If it’s a professional DSLR that has CFExpress storage, its probably relying on XQD or CFExpress Type B. At least this appears to be the direction of things today.

That is rather unfortunate because, in examining the CFExpress Type A card, it is a  superior build and smaller than the typical SD card, and it is faster with transfer speeds up to 900MB/s.   This is the present, however, and if you have been following along with our latest report of the SMI SM2708 controller, you will see a brand new form factor called SD Express.  This speaks to performance speeds on a SD card of 985MB/s with SD7 @ Gen3x1 and 1969MB/s with SD8 @ Gen3x2.  That’s not all; PCIe 4.0 promises 4GB/s speeds on the horizon with Gen 4×2.  Check our report here!

ProGrade CFExpress Type A cards are available in the 160GB capacity, have performance specs of up to 800MB/s read and 700MB/s write and come with a 3-year limited warranty. The dimensions for this car are 29.6mm x 38.5mm x 3.8mm and it has a temperature rating of -10°C to 70°C.

This is an NVMe device that uses the NVMe 1.3 protocol and initial MSRP is $329.99 as seen on the ProGrade website.  We are not seeing this on Amazon as of yet.  Check Amazon.

While we are at it, we might also take the time to show off ProGrade Digital’s CFexpress Type A Card Reader.  This reader is a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Dual Card CFexpress A/ SD UHS-II Card Reader. Something very unique with ProGrade readers is that they come with a metal plate that can affix to your PC glass and the reader itself has a built-in magnet that sticks to that plate, or a metal part of your PC should that be the ‘case’ (Get it?) It lists on the ProGrade website for $79.99.

This card reader can theoretically performs to speeds of 1GB/s read and write, although our sample CFExpress Type A card maxed out 100MB/s ab0ve listed specs at 900MB/s.  Its packaging includes the reader, a Type-C to Type-C cable, a Type-C to Type-A cable, metal ProGrade plate which can be affixed to your PC by its adhesive back, operating instructions and a trial copy of Pro-Grade Digital Recovery Software.  It also provides the opportunity to purchase their ‘Refresh Pro’ which is available for $9.99 from ProGrade directly.  This software application enables one to check their CFexpress card life, clean data on the card, as well as the ability to sanitize the card to like new condition.

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